It was 1918 and I was dying. The influenza epidemic was raging, but I still had so much I wanted to do. The hardest part about dying at such a young age - for I was only seventeen - was coming to terms with the fact that I would not be able to fulfil those goals. I was young and in my prime. I could not die yet! I realize now that though I was afraid, the hardest part about dying was dealing with the struggles I had inside.
I remember it clearly, as if it was only yesterday. My name was Edward Anthony Masen. I was, as I said before, seventeen years olf. My father had already passed away, courtesy of the Spanish influenza. My mother was also ill, she in worse condition than I. I knew I couldn't last long. I was grateful to the doctor, Carlisle Cullen, for staying by my side.
But even with his company, I could not be swayed from my inner turmoil; my battle with regret. I had not done anything to deserve this! I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to fall in love. I wanted to be married, have children. I wanted to give my mother the life she deserved. I wanted to grow old.
I wanted to live.
The hardest part about being on my deathbed and knowing it could be anytime that I passed was knowing I'd never do these things.
I remember once, when Carlisle and Elizabeth, my mother, thought I was sleeping, she begged him to "save me." She seemed to think he had the power to do so. But if he had, wouldn't he have already saved all the others? I remembered wanting to laugh, but my throat was raw. How could he, anyway? He wasn't some miracle-maker. I remember that she passed shortly after that conversation.
I don't remember much after that, but I do remember feeling like my body was on fire. It went on for what seemed like an eternity (though I had no idea what eternity was like back then), and when it stopped, I thought I was dead. But if I was dead, would I still be able to think so clearly?
"Open your eyes, Edward," I heard.
I heard a lot of things. More than just Carlisle's voice. I could hear dust settling around us. I could hear trees rustling, I could hear wind blowing, both as if I was outside with them; both as if they were amplified by large speakers. I later found out I was in a basement.
"It will take a while for you to adjust to your new body," Carlisle said, remorse in his voice. I knew it was remorse. I could hear it in his thoughts. "I'm sorry about your loss. I'm sorry I was selfish enough to do this to you, as well. I was lonely." Though he mumbled the last part, I heard him clear as a bell. What exactly had he done?
I didn't understand.
"I've changed you. You're nor of the race we call, for lack of a better word, 'vampire'."
Back then, I would have never believed him if I had not felt the scorching thirst in the back of my throat and the burning hunger for the life sustinance of others in the pit of my stomach.
Back then, before I "died", my internal quarrels were about what I would not get to do. I was foolish to think such things. Who thinks them, after all, when they are on their death bed? Who honestly thinks about that in their last moments?
Now, as I spend my non-life eternally seventeen, the battle I wage against myself is 'who will win'? The soulless monster that Carlisle, my adoptive vampire father, created or what traces of humanity that I had left? Will I break the vow that I made to Carlisle-- to not feed on humans and stick to a "vegetarian" diet of the animals in the forested areas we choose to live near? Will I one day, while living our day-to-day lives ad mock humans, attack one of those around me?
I can't be sure, but until that day arrives - if it arrives - I will continue to wage war on the monster inside of me. The strongest challenges we face are more often than not found within ourselves. Because I know this, I am able to take what is thrown at me and understand that "it is not as hard as I think it is." After all, I have got all of eternity to get over that I can no longer do the things I had wanted to when I "died". I have slightly bigger problems to handle now.